House of Balloons

House of Balloons Image
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 165 Ratings

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  • Summary: The mixtape by Canadian artist Abel Tesfaye was released as a free download.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Jun 13, 2011
    90
    When it's all said and done, Tesfaye has presided over a mind bending, drug induced tour through an underground world of debauchery that only leaves him hollow. He commands the mood better than artists who have been in the game for years and yet this his first release.
  2. Apr 20, 2011
    89
    House of Balloons is a surprisingly strong and confident debut for a new artist.
  3. The core of the album's success is its fantastic establishment of tonal environment--a brooding sexuality both sadistic and carnivalesque.
  4. Apr 8, 2011
    80
    Lyrically, the mood vacillates between confrontational and reflective, but House Of Balloons really soars when his blunt resolve collides with a more nuanced or gentle vocal delivery, creating a tension reminiscent of Aaliyah's clear-headed emotional states.
  5. While overall House of Balloons carries a chilling vibe, it proceeds to rock the listener with exciting tempos and relaxing melodies that intertwine to form a beautiful piece of art.
  6. Jul 14, 2011
    80
    A startling debut from a young Canadian RnB artist with huge potential.
  7. Dec 21, 2011
    70
    It's no turning point in a field populated by dozens of elder space cadets and mood architects, from Massive Attack to Spacek to Sa-Ra. As a flawed first step from a young newcomer, however, it's impressive.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 40
  2. Negative: 1 out of 40
  1. Apr 15, 2011
    10
    This is quality, one of the best things ive heard in ages. I cant quite work out why its so good, it just is and I cant stop listening to it.This is quality, one of the best things ive heard in ages. I cant quite work out why its so good, it just is and I cant stop listening to it. It kind of reminds me a bit of Massive Attack in their earlier days.... the Siouxie and the Banshees sample really works. Its quality, best album of 2011 so far for me. Expand
  2. Apr 4, 2012
    10
    Amazing! the best album 0f 2011! The weekend is ahead of his time! you must listen to this album, don't wait to long or you'll regret it.Amazing! the best album 0f 2011! The weekend is ahead of his time! you must listen to this album, don't wait to long or you'll regret it. With many other albums you listen to now you really don't go back to them, but with this one I keep on listening to it over and over. CLASSIC!!!!!! Expand
  3. Aug 31, 2015
    10
    The encapsulation of a perfect album. The album tells a story, albeit a very dark one. He's a man, he loves his drugs, he love his women, andThe encapsulation of a perfect album. The album tells a story, albeit a very dark one. He's a man, he loves his drugs, he love his women, and he loves it when the two mix. That creates many interesting scenarios for the songs in this album. The best album by the Weeknd and might be that way for some time, though Echose of Silence comes close.

    BEST: The Morning, High for This, House of Balloons/Glass table Girls, THE KNOWING!!
    Expand
  4. Sep 28, 2011
    9
    This mixtape/album is really damn good. Vocals and lyrics are emotive and thought provoking and the production hits between the lines of aThis mixtape/album is really damn good. Vocals and lyrics are emotive and thought provoking and the production hits between the lines of a commercial R&B sound and an ambient electronica feel. Oh, and it is also free to download. One of the best albums I've heard this year. And it's free. Expand
  5. Jan 20, 2013
    9
    Abel Tesfaye deserves to be on top of Billboard! On his first mixtape he serves us 9 tracks full with smart lyrics about drugs, sex and loveAbel Tesfaye deserves to be on top of Billboard! On his first mixtape he serves us 9 tracks full with smart lyrics about drugs, sex and love and his celestial voice that impresses me everytime I hear it. It's mainly music for young people but in this sad and partly melancholic way, you don't see often. This mixtape is an artwork and one of my favorites of 2011. Expand
  6. May 22, 2011
    8
    The instrumentation is fantastic and while the vocals aren't the best, they serve their place here. I have never liked R&B as a genre inThe instrumentation is fantastic and while the vocals aren't the best, they serve their place here. I have never liked R&B as a genre in anyway, but at some point during House of Balloons the atmosphere will overtake whatever preconceived notions you might have had. Although I usually don't have a problem with profanity in music, I swear the guy says 'f-ck' no less than 30 times here, and it's often unnecessary. In short, House of Balloons is an immersing album and really great overall, but it still succumbs to some typical genre-shortcomings. Yes, that includes 'shawtys f-ckin' in the corner.' Expand
  7. Apr 13, 2011
    1
    I gave this album a 1 instead of a 0, because, while it is utter trash, it does have slightly better instrumentation then more mainstream R&BI gave this album a 1 instead of a 0, because, while it is utter trash, it does have slightly better instrumentation then more mainstream R&B releases. However it still has negatives like those awful drum machines beats. I simply cannot stand the R&B Style vocals. Every time I hear them I immediately think of mainstream stuff weather its a fair comparison or not. However the worst part of this album is the lyrics. Even if it was a concept album you can pretty much forget all of that, because the guys behind The weekend just seem to be genuinely terrible lyricists. To top it all off I had to constantly keep reminding myself that I wasn't listening to the radio. Its almost as if The Weekend released this album with the soul intent of being picked up by some major label. It just sounds like the average money grabber of a song they usually produce. Expand

See all 40 User Reviews

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